Dennis Kam

Twinkle Variations

2008   |   c. 11 min

For 2 pianos

Twinkle Variations is an expanded version of one for solo piano that originally began as pedagogical exercises used for assignments to illustrate and teach 20th century compositional materials and techniques in music theory, as well as composition, classes. The theme, universally known, and twelve variations utilize material and techniques associated with 20th century composition such as parallelism, quartal/quintal harmony, use of different modes, polychords, changing meters, pointillism, chord clusters, root movement by thirds, free chromaticism, chromatic sets, etc. etc.; the list goes on. Two additional variations have been added to this version for two pianos – and especially for this premiere performance on Laura’s recital. In several ways, it is more complex because of the two pianos – and the goal of making a version that is a legitimate ‘concert’ work.

Another scaled-down (only 8 variations) ‘educational’ version for string orchestra was completed in 2004. This version for two pianos will be a model for a piano-4 hands (student- teacher) version.


Dennis Kam